Author Archives: wollepb

About wollepb

I'm a Ph.D. student in the field of technology enhanced learning, Twitter addict, CEO of UMITS Limited and father of a little son. Currently my focus is on researching awareness-support in Research Networks.

Designing RESTful Web Services and HTTP Interfaces

Today, I found this very cool presentation that deals with the design of RESTful Web Services and HTTP Interfaces. It was given by a very experienced PHP programmer at the 2011 PHPdays.

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Posted by on 28.02.2012 in PHP


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Elsevier’s vision of future scientific articles

Elsevier published its vision of the scientific article of the future and provide some very interesting ideas for making interaction with scientific publications more fun.

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Posted by on 26.01.2012 in Video



Reference quality and using BibTeX for reference management

For the project group, please make sure that you cite references of high quality (read: books, journal articles or conference proceedings). Wikipedia is a very good entry point for each and any topic but you should look for “better” references when it comes to citing some work. We all know about the discussion on quality differences in Wikipedia compared to other encyclopedias but you should also try to look beyond Wikipedia.

Regarding the reference management in your paper, you will have to use BibTeX. The references are stored in the .bib file I provided. Have a look at this page for learning which fields are required for which kind of reference. As a rule of thumb you need to remember that each reference needs at least

  • year of publication
  • title
  • name of the authors

I highly recommend that you use a reference manager like BibDesk (Mac) or JabRef (Linux, Windows, Mac).

When you cite online resources, please use the @misc BibTeX type. The URL of the site goes into “howpublished” together with the date of access. Here are two examples:

Author = {Moore, C. and Rugullies, E.},
Howpublished = {Available online \url{} accessed 28.10.2010},
Title = {{The Information Workplace Will Redefine The World Of Work At Last}},
Year = {2005}}
Author = {Crowdsourced},
Howpublished = {Available online \url{} (accessed 31 December 2010)},
Month = {December},
Title = {{Deletionism and inclusionism in Wikipedia}},
Year = {2010}}

The second example also shows how you should deal with user-generated content. First, the author of such content should be set to “crowdsourced” and second, you should try to link to a permanent URL. In the case of Wikipedia this is achieved by selecting “permanent link” in the “toolbox” section of the left navigation (e.g.

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Posted by on 15.01.2012 in Organization, Seminar Phase


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2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 23 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on 02.01.2012 in Organization


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Time Series Visualization with Cube

Today I stumbled upon Cube, an Open Source system for visualizing time series data. The system is based on Node.js, MongoDB and D3.js. The developers of the “half-baked but still tasty” tool describe Cube as:

an open-source system for visualizing time series data, built on MongoDB, Node and D3. If you send Cube timestamped events (with optional structured data), you can easily build realtime visualizations of aggregate metrics for internal dashboards. Cube speaks WebSockets for low-latency, asynchronous input and output: new events are streamed in, and requested metrics are streamed out as they are computed. (You can also POST events to Cube, if that’s your thing, and collectd integration is included!) Metrics are cached in capped collections, and simple reductions such as sum and max use pyramidal aggregation to improve performance. Visualizations are generated client-side and assembled into dashboards with a few mouse clicks.

They also share a video on building an analytical dashboard in 60 seconds (the video is actually only 31 seconds long though), which shows the capabilities and speed of Cube.

I think it could be a strong candidate for future implementation in the project group. What do you think?


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Seminar articles

I explained the rules for the seminar article many time before, but now I put the reference also in the blog, so anyone can refer to this post in case of any questions.

  • The SVN holds a template of the seminar article.
  • You have to use LaTeX to produce the article.
  • You have to continuously update your article in the SVN.
  • You have to present a preliminary outline of your seminar article to the supervisors until 02.12.2011 latest.
  • Present your ideas for your prototype until 09.12.2011 latest.
  • The final version of the seminar article has to be ready 31.01.2012.
  • The minimum length of your article (including figures, tables and references) is 16 pages. The maximum length is 20 pages.

The seminar presentations will be in mid-January. Each one of you will have to present his topic and prototype for around 25 minutes. After the presentation we will have a round of questions.


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Posted by on 18.11.2011 in Organization, Seminar Phase


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Blogging rules

It seems that we slowly get to a point where more blog posts are generated. However, I encourage you all to use the blog to share interesting findings, questions and problems with the whole group. When you share your thoughts here, it will be much easier to give and receive feedback.

When you blog, you should not only give the blog post some meaningful title, but also describe why you blogged about the topic. The text does not need to be long, but at least a sentence ;) Just putting a link in the post (like this post) is not enough. Most video sharing sites allow you to embed the video into WordPress and you should use this possibility. Moreover, each and any blog post has to be tagged and categorized. All posts have to have the tag pgpushpin. More tags are recommended. You can choose from the most used tags. Also you should assign categories to your blog post.

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Posted by on 18.11.2011 in Organization


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